Monday, June 08, 2020

Fewer flights, more protection in phase 3 of Indian repatriation from UAE

Dubai: Fewer number of flights and more protection from coronavirus await stranded Indians in the third phase of the COVID-19 repatriation from the UAE.
The revised schedule announced on Saturday by Air India (AI) and Air India Express (AIE) shows that only 25 flights under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) will repatriate stranded Indians from the UAE in the third phase of the mission, from June 9 to 23.

This includes the first-ever repatriation flight to the state of Maharashtra, which is an Abu Dhabi-Mumbai flight on June 11.

Fourteen flights will depart from Abu Dhabi while the rest will be from Dubai.

While the number of flights has come down compared to the second phase, which is ending on Monday, June 8, with a Dubai-Chennai flight, the airlines told Gulf News on Sunday that they will abide by the new guidelines to ensure more protection to passengers.
In line with the directives of the Supreme Court of India and the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airlines would provide face shields to all passengers on repatriation flights while those occupying the middle seats would be given protective wrap-around gowns, officials confirmed.

“We have already started distributing them to passengers,” P.G. Prageesh, chief of Corporate Communications, AIE, said over phone from India.

He said the additional protective gear is being offered as the airlines are not leaving the middle seats empty due to the passenger load.

Rasheed Thayyil, managing director of Al Arabia Uniforms in Ajman, who has supplied and donated such protective gear to many of the already repatriated Indians, said those passengers were found to be more protected than those who used only masks and gloves.
08/06/20 Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News
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